Willmar tornado is rated a major EF-3 event
5:30 p.m. Saturday update
WILLMAR - The tornado that hit southeast of Willmar Friday evening was "major" tornado rated as a low-end EF-3 by the National Weather Service.
That means winds were most likely in the 136-150 mph range, said Todd Krause, a meteorologist with the service, during an interview Saturday afternoon.
An EF 3 has winds in the 136-165 range.
With a scale of zero to five, Krause said Minnesota usually only gets 1-2 tornados a year in the EF-3 category. The Willmar tornado, however, was the third this year.
A damage survey team from the National Weather Service toured the damaged areas today.
According to the Weather Service, the tornado touched down about a half mile north of Priam, along County Road 116, where it hit a turkey barn. The tornado traveled east or east-southeast, crossing U.S. Highway 71 near County Road 19, about five miles south of downtown Willmar.
It continued moving eastward, along County Road 19. The most severe damage took place 2-3 miles east of Highway 71 and a half-mile north of County Road 19.